Deadline extended for housing costs survey
January 25, 2004
DARMSTADT, Germany — Paying the bills is only a mouse click away.
The 2003 Overseas Housing Allowance Utility and Move-In Expenses Survey, available online at www.milsurveys.com/oha/, has been extended from the end of January to Feb. 13.
All servicemembers who live in privately leased quarters overseas and receive a housing allowance have an opportunity to potentially change the amount of money received for utilities and reoccurring maintenance costs, according to Millie Waters, Installation Management Agency, Europe Region, spokeswoman.
Servicemembers who reside off post can tally up their past year’s expenses and let the Department of Defense know exactly how much they pay for living off post through the online survey.
Previously, the survey was only distributed to a sample of servicemembers. This year, any off-post military resident can take the new online survey, ensuring everyone has an equal say in calculating expenses, according to Capt. Susan Walton, chief of finance policy for the 266th Finance Command out of Schweinfurt, Germany.
“The scope is to increase participation,” Walton said, which is why the survey date was extended.
There are 19,000 military members eligible to take the survey in Europe, according to Walton.
The confidential 12-page survey should take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete and has two sections, one for utilities costs and one for move-in and miscellaneous expenses.
When completing the survey, servicemembers should refer to actual bills or records of utility and maintenance expenses for the last 12 months and compute a monthly average for each of those costs. Walton suggests residents have all necessary documents on hand while completing the survey.
Servicemembers who have lived off post less than 12 months can average known utility expenses, according to an Installation Management Agency statement.
The Per Diem Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee conducts its survey annually to collect utility and recurring maintenance expense data from servicemembers who receive an overseas housing allowance. The committee uses the information to compute allowances for servicemembers worldwide.
For more information, log on to www.milsurveys.com.